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Shadowcatcher

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Eric Ewazen

Eric Ewazen


Subtitle: For Brass Quintet and Wind Ensemble


General Info

Year: 1996
Duration: c. 35:30
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Keiser Southern Music
Cost:' Score and Parts - Rental   |   Score Only - $82.00


Movements

1. Offering to the Sun - 7:20
2. Among the Aspens - 9:25
3. The Vanishing Race 7:50
4. Dancing to Restore an Eclipsed Moon - 9:20


Instrumentation

Full Score
Solo B-flat Trumpet I-II
Solo Horn in F
Solo Trombone
Solo Tuba
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra-Alto Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium I-II
Tuba
String Bass
Timpani
Percussion, including:

  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crotales
  • Maracas
  • Marimba
  • Shakers
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tom-toms (2)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Edward Curtis, the great American photographer who traveled throughout the American West during the early decades of the 20th century, took literally tens of thousands of photographs of Native Americans. He chronicled their ancient lifestyle — capturing a time and place destined to disappear in the onrush of the modern age. His mysterious, beautiful and powerful photographs had a distinctive play of light and dark, and the Native Americans dubbed him the “Shadowcatcher.”

Shadowcatcher was commissioned by the renowned American Brass Quintet, to which the composition is dedicated. Ewazen often uses traditional musical forms and finds inspiration in written texts and pictorial images to create the piece's profile: Shadowcatcher clearly fits this pattern. In the preface to his score for this work, the composer tells of the source of his inspiration and provides insight into the concerto's formal devices:

Offering to the Sun (Tewa, 1925) -- between rock cliffs at San Idelfonso, clutching feathers, raising his arms in supplication to the brilliant sunrise. The opening brass quintet music, with free rhythms and ornamentation, is influenced by traditional Indian flute music -- complex and improvisational. A quiet, prayerful chorale leads to music portraying the beauty and excitement of a new day.

Dancing to Restore an Eclipsed Moon is inspired by Mr. Curtis’s photo of Kwakiutl dancers surrounding a smoking fire. The ancient Kwakiutl of the Pacific northwest coast had a belief that the eclipsed moon was being swallowed by a creature of the night sky. By lighting a bonfire of old clothes and hair, they believed the stench would make the monster sneeze, thus disgorging the moon. The music is a programmatic portrayal of this legend with the dance culminating in a brass quintet cadenza -- a sneeze -- and the quiet return of the moon as feelings of joy and peace bring the work to a close.

- Program note by New Trier High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert program, 20 December 2012


Shadowcatcher was commissioned by and is gratefully dedicated to the American Brass Quintet who premiered the work with the Butler University Wind Ensemble under the direction of Robert Grechesky in Indianapolis, Indiana, in October 1996.


Media


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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Works for Winds by This Composer


Resources